A quietly sleeping heap of solid gold and a forecast for fashion trends in space are just some of the works shown in Domestic Futures, the exhibition currently running at Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum Design. In collaboration with designer Harm Rensink, curator Lisanne Fransen invited 30 designers from around the world to display their vision of what the ‘household of the future’ could look like. The collection of works shown at the exhibition challenges visitors to consider just how influential design and products are in their daily lives. Fransen explains: 'these designers translate abstract scientific theories, thoughts and tendencies into something we understand and which is actually becoming very personal.'
The exhibition consists of different living environments displaying works inspired by the major progress seen in scientific research and technology as well as our social mindsets. These themes are represented within three rooms which depict a certain ‘future’ path: Space Colonisation, Bio-tech living and Back to nature. A sense of real engagement occurs when Fransen asks visitors to vote for the future they’d prefer to live in. This element assists in translating the mostly research-based design into both an understandable and tangible context. Fransen shares that an effective exhibition should be understood by all saying: 'everybody should feel welcome and encouraged to enter an exhibition without getting overwhelmed by the amount of information and complexity of it.'
Agi Haines’ project Circumventive Organs discusses how the creation of new organs is steadily becoming a reality due to developments in bioprinting. New organs can now be produced by cells which have been replicated, printed and fused together; a process which would have taken over a million years to evolve naturally. The project demonstrates the notion of reducing the body to another everyday material and the extent to which this malleable material can be pushed while remaining socially accepted.
Self-proclaimed speculative designer James King reveals how edible meat can be sourced from a small sample of animal tissue thanks to recent advances in tissue engineering. His mobile animal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) product aims to lead the industry away from the cruel and archaic process of rearing a whole animal for slaughter. On the other hand, Lauren Davies looked to an old and ritualistic age for inspiration on what beautification processes may look like in the next 10 years through her project The Alchemist’s Dressing Table, a collection of analog tools for the production of natural cosmetics at home. Davies’ project perfectly embodies the phrase ‘conversation pieces’, a term Fransen uses to describe the works on display. She explains how the topical projects captivate the visitor’s attention to begin with, and then proceeds to translates itself from a museum-piece into a product the visitor can imagine using on a daily basis. This interaction leads guests into an internal dialogue weighing how influential these products could be in their own life.
Visit the Domestic Futures exhibition at Nationalmuseum Sotckholm until the 15th November 2015
Photos courtesy of Agi Haines